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Friday, September 30, 2011

The King of New York Hacks, Occupy Wall Street, and the"WE ARE THE 99 %" song by Jeremy Gilchist .

 I thought I'd touch on the Wall St occupation...hey, I AM the King of New York :-)

I've had fares that agree with the protesters and think the banksters are crooks, and I've had customers who think they are a bunch of clueless hippies who should find a job...what do I think ?? 

Well, being a Taxicrat I can only report what I am seeing from both sides...I pick up one person who tells me how they have student loans over $50,000 in debt and can't find a job...they ask me, if they took my parents home because they couldn't afford the payments anymore, will they take my degree too if I can't pay ?? I assure him he'll keep his knowledge and eventually be employed...hang in there.

I also pick up the tired police officer after a double shift who tells me how he is embarrassed how some have acted and hopefully he won't be judged by the poor actions of a few bad apples...I assure him we will not, certainly I won't...hang in there. was only a decade ago when we were all standing together in this country after being attacked, and now there is a tension in the city unlike anything I've ever felt before...and contrary to what many people are seeing on the internet, it has been a very peaceful protest outside of the incidents that happened Saturday..

I've heard many things about the occupation of Wall St this week...the latest was all those people protesting are the same idiots that bought houses with 0 down and if you gave them 99 more weeks of unemployment they'd crawl back into their caves...

Well, I disagree with that comment, maybe some are like that, but certainly not all of them. I stopped by Zuccotti Park a few times this week and talked with a lot of people..The Pilots from Continental were there, the Transit Unions will be there, The Postal Service has begun to help them...I spoke to many people including the police who want some kind of reform...there are a lot of people who are victims even with the best laid plans...I've been in this city my whole life and have never seen the likes of whats happening right now...I'm not sure what will happen, but something is happening and its getting bigger..

The Bull is in its little prison so the tourists and locals are not able to rub its balls for good luck.

If people think highly trained pilots are hippies, well the media in this country is not doing their job.
This IS ON Wall St ! 

Pizza's being delivered to the park 24 - 7

from South Korea no less !!

...and the police are getting along fine with the movement as far as I could tell this day...

...and yes, the stars always come out to show their support..Thats Susan Sarandon...she tried to seduce me, but her politics got in the way of our almost torrid love affair. :-) 

The construction workers building the New World Trade Center have no problems with what the movement is about either...oh yeah , what is the movement about ??

Well, I asked that question to many of the people protesting, and it seems day by day they are being more clear about why they are there and what they want...I met lawyers, laid off, homeless, unemployed, working poor, paramedics, nurses, business owners, etc...Other unions are joining them and when this happens, I think we will see their main points being recognized...The lack of corporate regulation and the pure greed shown by places like Goldman Sachs and Bank of America are sure to be news as this unfolds...its a really long list, so I'm not surprised there isn't just one demand...there is a LOT of corruption in the world today...and unfortunately, history repeats itself often...

The BOSS TWEED times..very similar to today. (Come back and click the link to read about Boss Tweed)
For example, the construction cost of the New York County Courthouse, begun in 1861, grew to nearly $13 million – about $178 million in today's dollars, and nearly twice the cost of the Alaska Purchase in 1867.[13] "A carpenter was paid $360,751 (roughly $4.9 million today) for one month's labor in a building with very little woodwork ... a plasterer got $133,187 ($1.82 million) for two days' work"...

Well just like then, a lot of people want to know where all the 9/11 money went, and why the New World Trade Center is taking so long and costing so much...the Wall St Journal reported   that crane operators are making $500,000 a year and some are just relief operators who stand by all day...Similar to Boss Tweed, I think Boss Bloomberg will have a lot to explain about in the future.

Tweed accomplished many great things for New York City, but he was also cooking the books and a fraud...Tweed died in the Ludlow Street Jail on April 12, 1878 from severe pneumonia, and was buried in the Brooklyn Green-Wood Cemetery.[22] Mayor Smith Ely would not allow the flag at City Hall to be flown at half staff...New York City has quite a history. seems for now Liberty is in a fog, like when I took this pic below of Lady Liberty in the fog from the Staten Island Ferry....

We are living in troubled times, I see many struggling and I am one of them...I don't have the answers, but I see enough hard working people working two jobs some three just to keep a roof over their head and their bills paid...nobody is off jet setting to Monaco...the system is broke...and for our kids, and our kids children we must find the answers to maintain the freedom and liberty our forefathers built for us to uphold...not destroy it.

OK, thats my two cents on it...I'm going to keep asking people questions this week and hopefully I can give you a birds eye view of whats happening here in New York City. Like I tell people, we don't have to agree or disagree, but we must recognize that this IS happening, and sharing our thoughts makes us both better off from the experience...somebody shared the below song written by Jeremy Gilchist of the UK who is seeing similar circumstances across the pond...It was the first song I've heard about this movement, and I thought it was pretty here it is, the first one is a collage of recent events to the song and the one below is of Jeremy himself singing it...

We are the 99 Percent


Jeremy wrote this song for all those protesting in NYC as part of the Occupy Wall Street Demonstrations. Lyrics below:

They can take our money
They can take our homes
They can steal the future
Mortage our souls

Occupy the politicians mind
Buy the truth and sell us lies

But there's a rising on wall street
I am you and you are me
We are the 99%'ers
On the right side of love and history

It's hard to say where it went wrong
Decades before me and this song
Through the banksters and the wars
You know I just can't take it anymore

There's a rising on wall street

I am you and you are me
We are the 99%'ers
On the right side of love and history

Jeremy Gilchrist 2011 -

Jeremy Gilchrist Website  

...all in all , what I want is for the 10 year war to end...We've lost 5000 kids already, and have bankrupted the country doing so...enough already, bring them home.

I may not be occupying Wall St, but I'd prefer my friends occupy their beds in the USA and not a foxhole in Iraq or Afghanistan...but what do I know, I'm just a Taxicrat reporting to you from these historic city streets as I try to remain, King of New York Hacks.

Peace out peeps.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

REBORN finished...Ten Pic Tuesday.

Well, I'm still trying to figure out how to display all the photos I took during September 11th Memorial 10 year anniversary...I may just make a slide show, but til then I thought I'd do a 10 pic Tuesday and start up regular posts again...I'll also be posting my taxi stories in the near future because they are just too good not to share...but for now, here's ten pics that I took on September 10th...enjoy.

One World Trade.

The New World Financial Center.

Motorcycle Tribute..

Wall St  Hot Dog stand

Human Statue

Snake Ambassadors Dewey Dawson and Mike Richardson of New York City

Lady Liberty

USS New York    - forged from the steel of the World Trade Center

Staten Island September 11th Memorial

Statue of Liberty from The Staten Island Ferry

Peace out peeps...Happy Tuesday.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

REBORN cont'd. Catman Charlie and The KONYH - Cat on the Head Guy New York City

Whats up peeps...I'll be continuing that 10 pic Tuesday like I was doing once September is over...I'd like to finish my posting about the rest of my walk around Ground Zero before I move on to other posts. I'm trying to post a good portion of the pics but my account album for photos is full and I have to figure out what I need to do to post all the pics I have, or create an account on a photo sight with a link...but I'd rather post the pics with my words...if anybody has a tip I sure would appreciate it. So I thought I'd share this part of my walk with you while I figure the rest out.

...During my walk I was coming up Broadway and spotted a familiar person across the street and crossed over to talk to him before I headed to St Pauls Chapel which was an oasis and camp for all the responders in the wake of September 11th 2001.

In 2008 the second post I wrote for this blog was about a guy I saw walking around Times Square with no shirt and a cat on his head screaming to people and pointing to a cat...on his head.

I didn't carry a camera then, and said to myself, "man, I'll never see that one again"...but I did a few weeks later ...and took the pic below...I titled my second blog post CATMAN BEGINS . He's become quite popular and most people will refer to him as "the Cat on the Head Guy"...this was cool.

So, to bump into the Catman on Broadway while doing my annual walk was an uplifting sight, knowing I can finally find out more about him...I've seen him from time to time while driving my taxi, but I always had customers in the car and never had the chance to call him I did...and I'd get a good pic too !

I don't know about you, but every time I hear or use the ole "Ladies and Gentleman introduction", I think of Kermit the frog on The Muppet Show and how after he introduced whomever was the guest of the show he'd scream  "Yayyyyyyy!!!"  (click the yay to hear kermit) show ever those Muppets.

Ladies and Gentlemen...sans the beard, New York City's only Cat on the Head roaming street performer Mr. Charlie Perito and his cat Nicholas !!! Yayyyyyy!!!! 

Charlie told me Nicholas is the THIRD cat that he has performed with, and that Nicholas loves being perched up there on the summit while watching all the happenings in New York City as they walk around town.

I asked him how did he start doing this and he told me how he was with his girlfriend one time and the original cat climbed up the chair where Charlie was sitting and rested on his head..He then found he could get up with the cat and walk around, so he took it to the streets of NYC.

The King is not a cat person being I'm allergic to their dander, but most cats I've come across in my lifetime listen to no one...People never train a cat to do a trick...however, Charlie is the exception...check out this video I filmed of Charlie inviting you to New York City while Nicholas reaches the apex of Charlies noggin...well done Catman.

So whaddya think ? Ya don't see that everyday...Ha !! I told Charlie he should walk around the block to where the cabaret bar The Pussycat Lounge is and he'd find other people who have the same thing on their mind and might throw a few dollars to his charitable fund...but he was heading north to The Great White Way.

Someone who saw the video messaged me that they like my accent ?? Accent ?? Moi ?? Us New Yorkers don't have accents, fuhgeddaboudit !!!  I moved to Florida for a bit when I was younger and everybody made fun of the way I said Lobster and dollars...It always came out Lobsta and dollas !!..A Lobsta for Fi Dollas ??? Fuhgeddaboutit !!

Hey, its a dialect....who needs "R"'s anyway. :-)

...and off goes Charlie, walking up Broadway talking to everyone and introducing his feline friend Nicholas to the peeps of New York City...and that my friends all happened in a New York Minute.

So if you find yourself in New York City and see a dude with a cat on his head calling out for you, don't think you had too much at happy hour, that's just Chuck and Nick doing their thing, while another cool cat is behind the wheel of a yellow taxi doing his thing, scoping out the next piece of this city to bring to you as I remain , not the King of Cats but The King of New York Hacks.

Meow peepers.

Saturday, September 17, 2011


So, once again I took my annual walk downtown New York City using the route I would take when I worked at 4 World Trade Center over 20 years ago...I documented my walk in 2008, if you haven't read it, here is the link September 11th Tribute 2008 . Its also in the sidebar on the right hand side with my 2009 and 2010 tributes if you feel like reading them...the 2008 one tells you a bit about me in the first few paragraphs if you've never been here before...

I took almost a thousand pictures during my walk on September 10th, and there was no way I could really capture in words how I felt or convey to you what it felt like here in NYC in one post...I tried, I usually line up all the pics and just let them tell the story as I reenact what I was feeling at that particular moment, but as I tried to sort the pics out, it was hard to leave many of them I said fuck it, I'll put as many pictures of what I saw during my walk and keep my words short ( I'm aiming to keep it to under 75 pics a post ) ...I'm going to post at least 7 or 8 times to get through them all, but you'll see pictures of the tragedy, the progress, and what is beginning to feel alive again...some pics you may not want to look at, and some you will...but this is up close and personal with yours truly.

Ok, here we go ...this was my first sight when I took my walk this year of Battery Park, where they were flying 3000 flags and where The Sphere has been on display with an eternal flame since 2002. The Sphere was originally on a fountain in the center of The World Trade Center, and a frequent place I would eat my lunch, watch different entertainment shows they would have, or sit and people watch... it was an extremely popular meeting place filled with energy all the time..occasionally extra security was brought in to protect the King from being molested by all the women there, but that story is for another day ;-)

The Sphere was damaged during that tragic day, and stands today as a symbol of the indestructible spirit of New York City...of our Country...of you.

The Sphere and the Flags

Veterans paying their respects from wars gone by ...this soldier is proudly wearing his Vietnam Veteran shirt.

A motorcycle tribute...

This had all the details if you look closely, click on the pics for a better view...

The mirrors carved into the Firefighters Maltese Cross .

As you can see in the background, tourists looking at their map, a bicyclist and a jogger...on a Saturday morning there wasn't usually much activity down had a different feel to was busy...


One Life One Flag

The Flags were set up... one for every victim...

 Will never forget...

Names of the murdered make up the stripes to the Flag of Honor.

I experience similar memories of my walk in 2008 coming across Firefighter Brian Cannizzaro's name, whom I went to elementary school with and whose father was my basketball coach. A great person never to be forgotten.

...and Captain Patrick Brown, whose mass card I came across on my walk in 2008...a hero to all...

An American Flag to accompany the flags of the fallen...

This young girl was eating breakfast and checking the phone...its strange to think she may have been 10 years old when that tragic day happened.

...and just like in 2008, not an American Eagle, but it sure is nice to see a New York City patriotic pigeon again paying his respects and standing guard...

They may call them flying rats, but I dig the New York City pigeons...They got character.


Sphere and Eternal flame.

A box of memorial magnets was placed in front of The Sphere with a sign on the box of flyers saying thanks for paying respect and please take one...These were left byTuesday’s Children which  is a non-profit family service organization that has made a long term commitment to every individual impacted by the events of September 11, 2001 and more recently those who have been impacted by terrorist incidents worldwide.

The Eternal Flame.

One Life ~ One Flag

The Flag of Honor and Flag of Heros List of how they are organized.

The Irish Flag.

Japan...There were flags representing 92 countries placed in the park alomng with all the others.

The Italian Flag.

The Flags of Honor.

I turn and glimpse over the Sphere to see the progress in the sky... year we'll get there.

The Flag of Heroes.

the Flag of Honor.

The Countries...

The spirit of the flags flyin...

Remembrance field of honor..

This was the first of many vendors that represent some foundation that is selling flags, plaques, or other items that state they are raising funds for the victims of 9/11...there are so many of them now that I just say I gave already and move on ....some are pretty aggressive too...what kills me is how many first responders died...and are dying,  yet still can't get any help or medical care with all these foundations who are supposedly raising money for them...I hate to talk like this, but its a fact. So much money was raised and so little reaches the people who really need it...don't get me wrong, I know some of the foundations personally and have seen the tremendous work they are doing, and have done to ease the pain and help families who are in financial need...but I've also seen shady know what I'm talkin about, makes me sick...ok nuff said..

This is usually where I would begin to see 4 World Trade Center so many years ago, and in my last few walks haven;t seen much progress since that tragic day...the red plant pots are a nice addition though.

...except today, I get my first glimpse of a giant American Flag hanging...

Freshly painted pots..

New modern benches...

As I was walking I heard screeching tires and now have found the fresh tire marks left by what I'd heard a few moments ago...a donut.

I stand in the middle of the street just like I do every year,  and seeing the flag hanging from one of the new buildings makes me stop and pause...

Finally a sign of real progress and hope...

It felt ....good.

On the right of me lining the street were a string of Dodge Vipers...that was the sound of the screeching I heard and one of them was the donut maker I showed

They each had a 9/11 Memorial Magnet on the door...These cars aren't cheap, the one below goes for about $100,000.  Yes a hundred thousand !! ...two



I didn't ask who they were with and didn't really care...I thought the donuts in the streets while some people were clearly paying respects was a little over the top...but like I said earlier, today had a different feel in the air and it wasn't somber...six


Thats about a million dollars worth of vehicles there...maybe they'll let the King sell them so I can buy a taxi medallion, those are only $750,000...or how about we just sell them all and get our first responders the medical they need...

eight ..8 Vipers !! Can we please get medical for those who need it...ok ok nuff said on that, for now, but we'll revisit again at the right time.

For now, ...I'll tell you a true story I have about the Dodge Viper...I moved down to Florida many years ago and got a job as a Car Salesman at Ed Morse Dodge/Mazda...we had two Vipers on the in the showroom and one that was kept by itself and roped off for serious buyers...

So one day this hot shot comes in with his young daughter who he was going to buy the Dodge Viper for...He gets in the car with my coworker who's already telling me how much he's gonna make selling this car to them..I never saw the car move yet so I was into it..The father is kickin the tires asking all about the car while the girl just wanted to be sure that she could get some fire stripes on the car...My buddy is agreeing to everything "sure sure, we have the best detail shop in south Florida, we can put blah blah blah" you get the idea.

So the dealership was on a dead end street, and that's where we usually would test ride vehicles being there was no traffic...So the hot shot and my buddy buckle up and the father hits the gas and screeches the tires which I could see made my buddy nervous because the manager didn't like screeching tires on a car not sold....they go down to the end and turn around and come back...about 50 yards to the end is all...the father says "good car, feels like I'm in a cockpit" ..My buddy was beaming with delight...Then, the daughter chimes in, "My turn Daddy, let me take it for a spin"...

So, she gets in the car, her and my buddy buckle up and they take off down the screech of the tires, as the father is now telling me how he used to test race cars in Daytona...As we are watching them head down the dead end, she didn't slow down at the point where she should have, to begin turning around and she went straight through the end into and over a dirt mound about 6 feet high and right into the drink, which was a swampy lake about 2 feet deep at that time...BIG cloud of dust and a parking lot full of Holy Shits as all the salespeople ran towards the scene...

The front end was in the mud with the rear resting on the 6 foot hill... they were beat up a little bit, the girl was hysterical and my friend was bleeding from his head in shock, but they settled down and were ok, but stuck in the its weird position..A helicopter came with rescue people to cut them out of the car and bring them to the hospital,.and while we were waiting the father turned to my boss and says "she don't even have her license yet, will she get in trouble ?" more Holy Shit was heard as far as Mexico that day...when I see the Viper, thats what I always think of and laugh...True story.
Vipers...Pffft !!! lol

New corner cafe's are bringing life downtown again...George's.

Cafe Bravo...

The Pussycat Lounge..under construction , but open.

...and Charlotte's place...I'll be doing a whole post on this little oasis downtown that is open to everyone.  It is supported and operated by Trinity Church Wall Street, which is just around the block.

Where my old workplace used to be, they have almost finished one of the smaller buildings that will make up the new World Trade Center...thats not what they're calling it, but I am...for now...

...and as I approach Trinity Boxing I am reminded ...

We Got Back Up....

The open air gym had a woman training inside under The American Flag and some motivational posters...

We Got Back Up...yeah....we did.

10 years later, still fighting...remembering that day...we rose.

We swing big with everything we've got...We hit big or miss big and like to live life as big as we can....

...and though we are tired and weary, this fight is still on...and still going strong...we get back up...

We Remember...we Reflect...

and we REBUILD.

...and we'll continue until its ...ALL back up...We are ...REBORN.

 God Bless All.